Opera Mini for Android update comes with new user interface

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 14, 2015
Updated • May 22, 2018

Opera Mini, Opera Software's long standing web browser for feature phones, underpowered devices and situations where bandwidth needs to be saved, received an update today that brings a new user interface  and Speed Dial page to the browser.

The new user interface resembles that of the regular Opera browser for Android. When you open Opera Mini for the first time after the update you are taken to the new speed dial page that displays a selection of often used or saved sites there among other things.

One difference on this page is that speed dial links and news are posted on a single page while those information and others are displayed in tabs in the regular Opera mobile browser.

Another difference is the compression feature used by both browsers. Opera Turbo, the compression feature of the regular Opera browser, can be turned off and is less aggressive while Opera Mini's compression feature cannot be turned off.

In fact, the only option you get is to change the quality of images from high quality to a lower quality or to off which would stop loading images altogether in the browser.

opera mini android

The majority of sites are displayed just fine in Opera Mini for Android but you may notice that some elements look different when compared to other browsers.

For instance, it won't load external fonts which, as you can see on the screenshot above, blocks some contents on Ghacks from being displayed correctly in the browser.

It is a downside of using aggressive compression settings and little options to control the feature in the browser.

One interesting feature of Opera Mini is that it supports multiple layouts. The default classic layout is optimized for one-hand navigation but you can switch to a phone optimized layout instead which maximize space for sites by removing the bottom toolbar or a tablet layout which does the same but adds tabs to the top to improve tab switching.

Other new features include swipe support in several browser areas. Swipe bookmarks to delete them, tabs to close them and downloads to abort them. The new Opera Mini integrates with Android's global search feature which you activate by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. There you find Opera Mini as one of the options for that.

Tab switching has changed as well. A tap on the tab icon displays thumbnails of open tabs in the browser. A tap on a thumbnail switches to it. There you find options to open private tabs, another new feature in the browser.

opera mini

The new start page displays a link to the bookmarks manager which, you guessed it, was updated as well. There you can open the Android bookmarks, configure bookmarks synchronization across devices, or use the built-in share feature.

Opera Software published a short video demonstration on YouTube that showcases the new Opera Mini browser for Android. Check it out below:

Closing Words

Opera Mini is a great choice when it comes to saving as much bandwidth as possible, for instance when you are on a limited mobile connection or if the Internet connection itself is unreliable. It can be a useful browser at other times as well even though it offers a limited feature set.

It does not support extensions for example which means that you won't get native script-blocking or other functionality that you may rely on in the browser.

The browser is compatible with Android 2.3 and up.

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  1. Floriano said on June 10, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Yes, the version is better, why they have destroies this good browser? Does They have new emploeys?

  2. Somebody said on April 14, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    y tho?

    There was literally nothing wrong with the previous interface. And to be honest, the interface looks like crap now. And it’s less comfortable to use.

    What’s wrong?
    – the Reload button is now all the way up on the top and it’s smaller. That makes it harder to reach AND harder to target with my thumb.
    – instead of the Reload button there’s now a Speed Dial button, which is completely useless.
    – to copy the current address, I need to focus the URL bar first, instead of simply long-touching it and selecting Copy.
    – the same goes from quickly pasting a URL from the clipboard.
    – the separate search bar is gone.
    – the whole top bar hides when scrolling down and unexpectedly appears again when scrolling up. This is extra annoying. It was better when I could just tap the menu button to show both top and bottom bars.
    – new tabs now open right next to the active tab. This is illogical and just plain wrong.
    – the Discover “feature” is being pushed right into my face. I never asked for it. At least it can be disabled.
    – light interface with no option to darken it (other than only open private tabs).

    I’m also worried about its performance. It seems like they completely ditched the old project and based the new Opera Mini on the standard Chromium-based Opera for Android. And I know that it has problems with staying loaded in Recent Apps for longer periods of time, unlike other browsers.

    Oh well, I find myself using Opera Mini less and less as of late anyway. Might as well stop using it at completely now. Most websites don’t work in it and some won’t display at all anyway, now that the web is full of JavaScript.

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